Following Cumbria Tourism’s recent appearance and championing of rural tourism at a special public hearing in the Houses of Parliament, we are delighted to see that the Government has now formally recognised the importance of tourism to the rural economy.
A report just published by the Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy is recommending the creation of a specific Rural Strategy. It also says that the new Tourism Sector Deal has the potential to provide a more consistent and systematic support to our sector.
The news comes after our MD Gill Haigh was invited to give evidence at Westminster last autumn, alongside a panel of other experts on tourism and rural heritage issues. It was part of a programme of public hearings the Lords Select Committee ran to learn more about the key issues and challenges relating to the rural economy.
Gill’s session focused on the contribution of tourism to local economies and communities in areas such as Cumbria. Skills, employment and Government policy around tourism featured in the session, as well the potential impact of Brexit and infrastructure and planning issues.
Gill says, “As one of the largest Destination Management Organisations in the UK, lobbying national decision-makers is a core part of the activity we undertake on behalf of our members and we are delighted to see that the Government is now taking positive action to prioritise the rural economy. We need to keep the pressure up at the highest-level to ensure Cumbria is in the mix and we can collectively make the most of new opportunities, particularly around the new Tourism Sector Deal.”